Stay with locals when you travel

At the end of October 2015 I was privileged to be a part of the Operation Game Change Student Outreach programme in Vietnam. As part of the programme I was hosted by a wonderful Vietnamese family and had the opportunity to experience Vietnam first hand. I think the absolute best way to experience a country is by staying with locals for the following reasons:

1. Cost
It is a more cost effective way to travel by staying with locals rather than staying at a hotel or guest house, which can often be very costly and use up all your holiday spending money.

2. Culture

You get to experience the culture of that particular country, the everyday lifestyle of its people and learn about their different traditions and ways of doing things. In Vietnam for example it was respectful to remove your shoes before entering a person's home.

3. Friendship

It is a great platform to build new life long relationships with different people from different cultures and countries. Not only can you make new friends and learn new things about them, next time you want to travel they might welcome you back into their home!

4. Food
Home cooked meals are often provided when you stay with local families, giving you the chance to experience the countries unique foods first hand without having to worry about buying and cooking your own food or paying exorbitant restaurant bills. Read about Food for your Mood here.

5. Security
Staying with a family gives you a sense of security and can make you feel more comfortable knowing that you have someone to come home to after a long day in a foreign country. Keeping them aware of your schedule will also help them know if you need help and they can warn you of all the do's and don'ts in their city/country.

Staying with a local family is truly an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to try something different and out of their comfort zones!

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